Sunday, July 09, 2006

How About a Craft?

The urge to create is strong, almost as strong as the urge to eat. I don't have a lot of self-knowledge, but know that I am happiest when creating something with my hands. It started with quilting, then expanded to knitting and recently to crocheting.

There's just something about fiber that appeals to me. It is tactile. While one can touch a painting, that's not what the painting is all about. (Surely there are painters who are all about the touch, but I don't know them.)

Quilting has an obvious visual element, yet remains very tactile in the making. I love running chains of fabric patches through the sewing machine, then blocks, then rows, then sections of the quilt. Maneuvering a large quilt through the sewing machine is nothing if not tactile .

Yet the visual element is huge, much more central to quilting than to knitting or crocheting. I love that about quilts. It reminds me of my favorite part of gardening: taking pictures of the plants that have bloomed for me. The picture makes the garden permanent, taking away the sorrow of time passing and flowers dying.

(My mom has a rather fatalistic attitude about the garden: when the daylilies bloom, summer is basically shot, and goldenrods are the nails in summer's coffin. I try not to view the succession of bloom this way, but don't you think it's scary that my very favorite time of year is just before the crocuses bloom? Then all the flowers are yet ahead of me. Pathetic, I know.)

Oh. The quilt. This is my favorite of the quilts I've made. I designed it for a sunny baby named Molly, whose mother loves brightly colored flowers. To me, this quilt sparkles with the little triangles of flower fabrics splintering off the main blocks. It matches the sparkle of little Molly's spirit and intellect.


Heather said...

What a beautiful quilt! Great colours. You asked where I found my saree fabrics - I live in an area where there are many immigrants from South Asia, so sarees turn up in thrift stores quite often.

normanack said...

Ooh, lucky you. My area has very few immigrants, and we are poorer for it.